There will be a new Trustee representing Grunthal in Ward 4 of the Hanover School Division and she is in by Acclamation.
How does Cheryl Froese feel about that? “I'm not sure yet," she says with a smile. "We'll see in a month, yeah, still processing.”
Froese says she has considered the area home since 2001 when she received her first teaching job at the school after graduating from university. "The Hanover School division is a large school division, and it's made up of dedicated professionals and supportive families. Our schools have kept up with technological advances over the years, and educators here do their best to adapt learning to meet individual students needs. Families here typically want to work with the schools and educators."
Froese says her motive for being a trustee would have been that she has already been in the education system. "I have experience in the classroom. I've seen what my teaching colleagues have to face every day. I'm also a mom of four kids and I know from that experience what the parents and students have to face on a day-to-day basis in the public schools. And I guess my main reason for running for trustee would be to serve our community and our schools."
Froese says she has had the pleasure of working with amazing educators in Hanover. "I have learned so much from the countless I worked with while I taught at Bothwell School, I was there for five years. And then at South Oaks in Grunthal and you just meet so many amazing teachers in our area that do their best to include all students of all diversity. They also adapt their learning to meet individual students needs. I know a big push has been technology in the schools, which is of utmost importance because we live in a technological age and there's so much to learn there."
What will Froese be bringing to the table? "I guess, as a mom of four school aged kids and an active community member with several years experience in the classroom, I do have some concerns with the direction of public education in our province. And my goal as a trustee is to be a voice that encourages diverse thinking, learning how to disagree while focusing on our individual responsibility in our children's education."
"Something that's been pressing on me for a long time is the voices that determine the success of any child's education includes the educator, the student, and the parent. Those 3, all need to be working in collaboration for any student to have success in school. I was just reminded of a situation that happened a couple years ago when I was teaching a group of grade four students about Canadian government and of the direct link between our rights as Canadian citizens and our responsibilities. And to date, we hear a lot about the former and not so much the latter. Like rights mean very little, however, if they're not weighted equally by responsibility. Teachers, students and parents have a right to public education in Manitoba, but we also each have distinct and different responsibilities in pursuing education. Hanover School Division's goal is to strive for excellence and as such I feel we need to prioritize our individual responsibilities in that triangle of success. It's my hope that the division could formulate some strong boundaries that would better distinguish the responsibilities of parents and caregivers from those of the school."
When talking about the students, Froese says, "they are capable of so much. I think if we raise our expectations of children, it would be amazing how they would rise to what we to what we expect of them and our kids are capable of a lot. We need to give some of that ownership back to them and watch them thrive."
Speaking from a teachers point of view she says, "I think that our teachers do a bang up job of meeting kids where their interests are at. I just feel like teachers and education and students has been wearing down. If we could now pare down and focus on literacy, numeracy the priority and just to make boundaries for what students are responsible for, what parents are responsible for, and what teachers are responsible would just alleviate the load from all of us."
"Teachers will never replace parents, parents will never be able to identify with the job of a teacher is unless they're in the classroom, of course, but still the dynamics are different in every room and what children are going through at home impacts their learning but to yeah, we just have to focus on our individual responsibilities and in how education best help the students."
Froese says she has lived in the Grunthal area for 20 years, presently she and her husband run a farm. She also volunteers in the community and is a substitute teacher when needed. "I love to serve in our community and my commitment to learning both in life and in academia is very, very strong. I believe that parents, students and educators have a responsibility in education as it shapes the future of our country and I hope that they can see through my dedication in the community and to my family and to others, my colleagues at school, although I won't be able to teach anymore, but that's what my heart is, to help navigate this learning process through being a trustee."